Siren 2 Impressions

I picked up Siren 2 on an excursion to Japan last month. I really should finish Ghost Hunter first (which is actually a much better game than I was expecting, though it’s not perfect), but got hooked on Siren 2 almost immediately and haven’t put it down yet.

If you followed my Siren odyssey, you might remember that my chief complaint with the game was that it really failed to communicate its crazy ideas to the player, which made the game far more difficult than it needed to be. Still, for those few players willing to endure the initially punishing experience, Siren really paid off.

For Siren 2, it’s clear that the developers have taken this sort of feedback to heart. They are trying really hard to fix their game without compromising the original aspects of its design. Each level now starts with a series of hints explaining the unique features of that level. The game also opens with a set of tutorial levels that are far more extensive than its predecessor. Further steps have been taken to keep the player from getting frustrated, including a new alarm system that warns you when enemies are close.

But all of these changes haven’t decreased the difficulty level significantly. The game is still tough and pretty unforgiving, and each level is still home to a lot of interesting design ideas. Fortunately, the difficulty comes from the game design rather a lack of information. The game is much better about guiding the player through each level, but it doesn’t let that interfere with its core challenge format. I think it’s another great example of challenging the player to perform a task rather than challenging them to decipher the correct task to perform.

I’ve not yet completed Siren 2, but so far I am really enjoying it. I’m also really enjoying Hotel Dusk and the new Phoenix Wright. Damn, the DS is the place for adventure games lately.

4 thoughts on “Siren 2 Impressions

  1. I agree much with you there Chris, Siren 2 is a really great game, no longer am i running in circles wondering what i may have missed, i’m instead immersed into the good horror story the game provides all while enjoying myself completing puzzles.
    I haven’t completed either but so far i can say that Siren 2 is everything Siren was and more.

  2. So the game doesn’t throw obtuse mission objectives with obscure puzzles that can’t be solved without a guide?

    The only break the first game gave you is when you completed a board wrong and it told you a little message when you restarted the board.

    More importantly are there do the flying Delta Force trained zombies snipers make a return?

  3. I like the fact they hint at what the puzzle is rather than give it to you in a broken riddle (I remember having nightmares with Siren 1’s hospital scenes!). The difficultly level is lowered to a user-friendly level (great for new fans!) and the story is much more coherent…er…to a point. I loved the different tactics that you can use to dispense with the Yambito (the ship comes to mind).

    But for all the fixes, in turn, they lose any sense of tension. The levels are far too short compared to the original and it’s never really scary. Too many plot holes (how does a magazine editor know how to use sub-machine guns and rifles?!) and the whole Mission 1/Mission 2 returns. I wish they just stick to one linear narrative.

    Other than that, it’s a great game for anyone needing an introduction to Siren, but a bit of a dissapointment to anyone who had a lot of late, sleepless nights.

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